How did we get here? This is something Maverick fans are all asking themselves. It’s probably something Mark Cuban is asking himself too. Only 2 years removed from winning it all, the Mavericks are farther away from the top than they’ve been in over a decade.
I don’t want to rehash all the gory details but let me give a quick recap: Mark Cuban looked at his roster after winning the title and assessed the age of his free agents. He had key players that would demand large contracts and would extend far past their prime. He felt by resigning them he would still have a good team for the next 2 years – but would be stuck with overpriced veterans the remaining 2 years.
He liked what he saw in Miami and became infatuated with luring a free agent in his prime. With Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and Deron Williams set to be free agents he could surely get one of them, right?
We know the answer to that question.
Cuban didn’t feel it was too big of a gamble or sacrifice since he only had to wait a year to reload. Then it became two years to reload. Then three years…
And here we stand with an ageing Dirk and nothing else. Sure, Marion is still good but face it – he’s not even a 2nd or 3rd option on a good team.
Dwight Howard was Plan A this offseason. That didn’t work when Howard chose Houston after quickly eliminating Dallas from consideration. Plan B was Andrew Bynum. He holds major Boom/Bust potential and would have been the only way to sell “hope” to Dirk and the Dallas fans. But the Mavs passed and he chose Cleveland. Now what?
I guess that’s an idea but he’s a less accurate, less talented, less sharing version of OJ Mayo. How much hope can we really have with him?
The sad truth is the best Plan C is to scrap the roster and hope to lose. Unfortunately the Mavericks signed just enough talent to be a marginal team. That’s the absolute worst thing they could have done. It’s insulting to Dirk and to the fans to try to sell this strategy.
The upcoming draft has very good top talent in the top spots. How about giving themselves a shot at them? I’m not saying to tank games – but I kinda am. The Boston Celtics are essentially doing it. They are sick of being an aged mid-level playoff team. They want to have a shot at the draft lottery and free agents in 2014. And they’re a playoff team! The Mavs should be doing the same. Move the veterans out and commit to youth. Develop the young players with potential and build around Dirk. Endure the growing pains and they will be better for it next season.
What’s the real Plan C?
Monta Ellis. A volume shooter who will lead the Mavs to the eighth seed and a first round playoff exit for the next 3 years…
If you ask me, Plan C is nothing but bad news for Maverick fans.
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